Thursday, 24 January 2013

AW: London Calling 2013.2

  • Barb plays a Brainer called Marsh, a creepy psychic concealed in androgynous medical-wear.
  • Rohin plays a Gunlugger called Keeler, a wild-eyed scarred man with a collection of firearms and the skills to use them.
  • +Paul wplays a Savvyhead called LaFayette, a somewhat kooky young woman with a greater affinity for machinery than people.

Keeler, Marsh and LaFayette sought an audience with Raccaro, the Tower's 'holder. The guards at the gate gave them a hard time, but let them in under armed watch. In the courtyard, they noticed that there were many more armed people than last time - it looked like the Tower was recruiting and gearing up for action. Raccaro agreed to see them if they disarmed first; Keeler left his ganger, Spatula, in the jeep with a machinegun to make sure their property was still there when they got back.

Raccaro received them in his audience chamber, seated upon an antique, ornately carved, high-backed chair with loose stuffing. The leader of the Tower forces is a man in his thirties, with a mane of long curly auburn hair, small round tinted glasses, and an impressive russet-coloured overcoat. The characters were under constant armed guard. Keeler spilled the beans about the river contamination and its effect on the Barrier Siltway. They pointed out that, as Hackney Marsh is north of the river, it was Raccaro's responsibility to deal with the contamination. After some posturing and wrangling, Raccaro agreed to check out the marsh. He also attempted to recruit Keeler to his cause; he claimed that it was Prim's duty to look after the farm, and his duty to go forth and acquire new farms. However, Keeler refused due to still being under contract to work for Prim. Marsh cast aspersions on Raccaro's intentions and usefulness, and was generally annoying, so Raccaro kicked them out.

Next, Keeler pulled his entire gang together, and along with Marsh and LaFayette they formed a convoy to explain the contamination to the people at the Siltway, and offer to take them in as refugees. However, just past Dog Island they saw the telltale dust-cloud of a Siltway raiding group. Keeler quickly arrayed his gang around a "killing field" and waited until the Siltway slave raiders were inside before opening up. Apart from disabling their lead jeep, the raiders suffered no major casualties. Keeler's guys attacked with such speed and ferocity that the raiders' convoy was stopped dead in its tracks, demoralised and surrounded, despite outnumbering their attackers.

Keeler negotiated with their lieutenant, explaining about the poisoned river and offering to take them in as refugees if they'd help in an attack against Raccaro. Fed up with their leader, Newton, who was insisting on maintaining an increasingly untenable position at the Siltway, the slavers agreed to the deal.

Next time, it looks like Keeler and the gang will be mounting an assault on the Tower in an attempt to topple Raccaro. Marsh has been itching to take Prim down for some time now because she's made some calls Marsh doesn't agree with, and there may soon be a perfect opportunity. LaFayette has several projects on the go, but I'm not sure if she'll get the chance to finish any of them in the middle of a turf war.

Even after probably more than half a dozen sessions, I'm still spending a lot of time analysing whether something counts as a Move for the PCs or not, and still don't seem to be able to keep all of the MC Moves in my head. I either end up forgetting to use anything unusual, or I spend ages poring over the list to see if I can find something interesting to do, which tends to disrupt the flow of the game. I also worry that I may be making uninteresting choices or accidentally shutting things down instead of opening them up.

I've let the players know they shouldn't think in terms of Moves all that much (although many of the Playbook Moves do kind of require direct engagement), but just explain what they want to achieve and how they want to go about it. Last session I kept having little brain-flashes when a Move was called for, but not so much this time... I think maybe there wasn't that much Move-worthy stuff going on, just lots of people talking and making decisions according to their natural tendencies.

I also think I need to provide more non-combat stuff for people to deal with, since it's mainly only Keeler getting to make rolls during large engagements at the moment. I really need to flesh out the holding's population and work on some other pressures and concerns.

That said, I think everyone's enjoying the game, and that's the main thing!

>>> Session 2013.3